What is a flamenco dress? Part One

A flamenco dancerA Spanish style dress also known as a flamenco dress is not just any dress coming from Spain. It’s based on Spanish national and regional styles – each region of Spain has its own specific customs, characteristics, and quirks. Some of them have their own language or dialect. A traditional Spanish-style dress comes from the region of Andalusia, one of 17 regions making up Spain. Five of its eight provinces border the Mediterranean Sea, and thus Andalusia is blessed with benign temperature, enjoying high temperatures, especially in the summer months. And thus the lightweight flamenco dress that enhances the female body to the full is also derived from Andalusia.

A guitar playerToday the Spanish flamenco dress is seen as very fashionable and acclaimed world wide, copied by famous fashion designers. But it has very humble origins. It has evolved over the years from the costume of simple farmer women or Gypsies in Andalusia. They would wear long Spanish-style dresses and skirts with frills and ruffles which would be covered by aprons during the work in the fields. This style was not only very comfortable but also showed off the feminine figure. Many women wore the dress in this style to famous cattle fairs, ad eventually upper-class women copied this style since at the time the style was very conservative and modest. This tight waistline and frills were embraced by the aristocrats, and in early twentieth century, it became the national dress of Spain. This style has been not just called the “Spanish style dress”, or flamenco – and many people think it’s not just because it was invented to dance the famous flamenco. It has also been called “guitar-style” because a woman in this style of dress is as curvy as a guitar. And of course, the guitar is also a Spanish invention, probably also coming from Andalusia!

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  1. Pingback: Flamenco dresses! | Fashion and shopping

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